VI. Düsseldorf International Arbitration School – September, 24 to 28, 2012

I am pleased to advertise this event, co-organized by Professor R. Alexander Lorz of Düsseldorf University. Here’s how they summarize the concept: “The five-day Düsseldorf International Arbitration School aims at providing young practitioners, post graduates and advanced students – especially Moot Court participants – with the requisite specific knowledge. The School is based on a highly practical, inter-active teaching concept. Participants get the rare opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge in both the law and practice of international commercial arbitration. The teaching faculty consists of some of the world’s leading arbitration practitioners.”  The latter, I am happy to add, include my partner Martin Rothermel, who has chosen to speak about a biblical topic: “Splitting the Baby”. I am sure he will come up with solomonic solutions.

German Mediation Act and the Mediation Committe: Final Compromise, Financial Incentives Added

In last night’s session of German Parliament’s Mediation Committee (Vermittlungsausschuss), a compromise was finally reached on the Mediation Act (Gesetz zur Förderung der Mediation und anderer Verfahren der außergerichtlichen Konfliktbeilegung). In some respects, it looks like the final legislation is back to where it all started. But at least, Germany is now ready to implement the EU Mediation Directive.

Continue reading

The Porsche/Volkswagen Saga – News From the Braunschweig Court House

In the law suits brought by financial investors against Porsche in conjunction with its attempt to take over Volkswagen, a first hearing took place at the Braunschweig District Court (Landgericht) today. Bloomberg Law was brave enough to cover the story yesterday, ahead of the hearing, and to make predictions, namely that it would be hard for the plaintiffs to convince to court –  rightly pointing to the limitations on finding hard facts to support their case under German procedural rules, in the absence of discovery or disclosure.

And according to today’s report in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Bloomberg’s assessment was pretty much on target: The judge’s initial evaluation of the case before him was, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine, that plaintiffs’ arguments had no legal basis, neither in the German civil code nor in the securities laws. The facts pleaded by the plaintiffs were not sufficient to support a cause of action in tort (vorsätzliche sittenwidrige Schädigung).

The next hearing has been scheduled for September 19, 2012. Watch this space.